Okay. People have commented on reading books over again and listening to pieces of music over and over again. (See the Comments, below, on Rereading + J.D.) I’m curious to know more about what movies people have seen multiple times. Is there something you’ll watch every time it comes on TV? It’s a Wonderful Life, anyone?
I imagine I’ve seen The Wizard of Oz more than any other movie. I don’t know how many times, but it must be more than 10. My husband, Film Buff Extraordinaire, can’t think of a film he’s seen 10 times. He’s seen his favorite, Shane, a lot, and he’ll see his second favorite, Late Spring by the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu, again this weekend. (Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque, 2/4 @ 8:20; 2/5 @ 7:30) He guesses he’s seen it, maybe, 7 or 8 times. (He likes Kurosawa, too, but maybe not as much as Joel.)
Late Spring definitely deserves many viewings. It’s beautiful and moving. It’s one of those works (John puts Orson Welles’s The Magnificent Ambersons in this category, too) where your perspective changes as you get older; the regrets and grief of passing time affect you more deeply. As Jane said in her comment about The Mixed-Up Files, you find yourself, as you age, identifying with the parents instead of the kids. This is certainly true of Late Spring, a story about an elderly father and his adult daughter.
So when you see a movie again, or reread a book, you’re not having the same experience. It’s changed, because you’re a different person. But maybe with a sentimental favorite, like Casablanca or The Wizard of Oz, you’re hoping for the exact same experience you’ve had before?